Newborn Hygiene: The 11 Most Common Questions By New Moms Answered

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Having a newborn at home brightens up your lives. While you cherish the arrival of the newest member into your family fold, you’ll be bogged down by a million doubts when it comes to baby care. Friends, relatives, and even online agony aunts will give you their two cents of wisdom every now and then. Yet, you’ll often wonder if you are doing it right. Worry not! This situation is common to almost every new parent in the world, which means all of you are probably in the same boat (if it is of any consolation). Therefore, we have compiled some of the most common questions every new mom has along with the answers for your convenience:

1. Can I Bathe The Baby Daily?

No. The newborns do not sweat or stink as much as we adults do. Neither are they as oily. Their skin is extremely fragile and sensitive. So, giving them a daily bath will only cause them more harm. Try giving a sponge bath with a clean washcloth and warm water once in three days. Start bathing them on alternate days after four weeks or once their skin begins to firm up. Make sure to wipe them dry properly.

2. When Do I Trim The Nails?

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Newborns have notoriously brittle and sharp nails. Ironically, they are also the victims of their own weapons! Babies tend to gorge their cute little cheeks with their nails. They also end up scratching their mother’s breasts during feeding with their firm grasp. When your tiny angel is asleep, gently push your thumb against the tiny nails. If you feel them pierce your skin, even a wee bit, trim them immediately. And always do so when they are asleep!

3. How To Cope With Diaper Rash?

A newborn baby’s diaper needs to be changed frequently as well as immediately every time they soil it. Or else a diaper rash is bound to happen. And whenever it does, apply a good diaper rash cream with zinc oxide. Giving the baby some diaper-free time and applying coconut oil after a bath or a wipe can also help in preventing a diaper rash.

4. Can I Use Ear Buds For My Baby’s Ears?

No. Ears have a self-cleaning mechanism. Using a bud pushes the earwax further down the ear, which could be harmful. Simply using a washcloth and warm water to wipe the outsides of the baby’s ears should just be fine. In case you notice unusual amounts of wax, approach a doctor.

5. What About The Eyes?

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The crusty, yellow gunk in the inner corners of a newborn’s eyes is normal. This is because the still-developing tear ducts often get blocked. Use a clean, damp washcloth to gently clear the mess. Gently massaging the area every now and then helps open up the tear ducts. However, if the condition worsens, visit a pediatric ophthalmologist.

6. What Sort Of Wipes Are Safe?

There are different variants of wet wipes – scented and non-scented. As a rule, go for the non-scented, non-alcoholic ones. These are mostly safe for your baby’s gentle skin around the delicate areas.

7. How To Care For The Umbilical Cord?

Use a clean gauze and warm water to gently clean the umbilical cord stump once or twice a day. Make sure to squeeze out the excess amount of water. However, if you notice any redness, pus, or soreness, immediately visit the pediatrician.

8. When To Start With The Baby’s Oral Hygiene?

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Most parents make the common mistake of waiting for the teeth to pop. Don’t wait for so long. You need to clean your baby’s mouth and gums much before that, at least twice a day. No need for a toothpaste though. Just use a clean, soft cloth and warm water.

9. How To Clean The Bottles?

You don’t really have to sterilize them daily if you can’t. Fill your sink/wash bowl with warm soapy water. Dismantle every part of the bottle and then wash them well with a bottle brush. Rinse thoroughly and air-dry them.

10. Is It Safe To Kiss The Baby?

It may be hard to resist kissing this bundle of cuteness, not only for the parents but also for the relatives. But, kissing also means a transfer of harmful germs at an alarming rate. So, for the sake of your baby, whose immune system is still weak, strictly keep kissing at bay if you had a cold or sinus infection. Also, don’t let the guests kiss your little one on or near the mouth during the first few months after birth.

11. Do I Need To Frequently HANDWASH?

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Yes! As parents, you both might be multitasking in keeping everything around your baby spic and span. But, all that cleaning means dirty hands. So, make sure you both wash your hands at least for 20 seconds before you handle your baby.

We hope these answers have helped you tick off some of the mind-boggling baby-care questions on your list. If you have some of your own hacks, please share them in the comments below. Let’s extend a helping hand to many new mothers out there.

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Sadiya Qamar

Sadiya is a writer and editor with a passion for writing about parenthood and children. Her focus areas are health, wellness, and beauty. For MomJunction, she writes on kids’ health and nutrition.  Sadiya believes in doing in-depth research and providing accurate information to help parents with concerns on their children’s growth and development.